USPSA newbie

Discussion in 'Competition 1911's' started by MoFormula, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. MoFormula

    MoFormula Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 22, 2011
    Caution stupid questions follow ...

    My son (age 13) and I (age old) are considering do some USPSA (SS 1911s) events next year so I have been doing some studying:
    Why do so many holsters, etc list as being IDPA approved but few it any mention USPSA?
    Do the majority of you reload or use factory ammo? If factory, are they full power? My son is timid over full power 45s.
    We are planning on shooting 1911 in the SS division. What simple mods are allowed ie-sight swaps, magwell, checkering?

    We scoped out an event last year but that was a lot to absorb. Any other info and advice would be appreciated. Trying to be prepared and not look like the newbie that I am.
  2. SkDmRkLcY

    SkDmRkLcY Well-Known Member

    Aug 17, 2011
    IDPA has a lot more rules about the holsters than USPSA, I am pretty sure if it is IDPA legal it is USPSA SS legal.

    You will look a newbie... you should advertise the fact... people will help you. If you try to fake it, they will know and let you fall on your face.

    Check out the Brian Enos forums as well.

  3. Mechanized

    Mechanized He's a large "member" Supporting Addict

    Sep 24, 2011
    +2 on advertising the newb status. You don't need to wear a sign they will spot it right away. Watch your son on how well he handles the pistol during the recoil phase of shooting. If he gets a little sketchy they will let you know pretty quick. Playing and practicing with factory ammo gets expensive with one shooter let alone two. Good luck.
  4. Quack

    Quack it's mmm, mmm good... Staff Member Admin

    Aug 15, 2011

    this is for Single Stack (pg. 82)
  5. MoFormula

    MoFormula Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 22, 2011
    I have to admit that at the event we visited, we were quickly embraced and offered hospitality unlike any other. It was a great group of guys offering up all they had to us. One shooter took us under his wing and walked us through the whole event with him. They were very eager to get my son involved also.

    In particular to single stack, are you allowed modifications to the handgun in the form of sights, checkering, grip safeties, thumb safeties? Or must the gun be box stock? At this point, I have a Gold Cup Trophy which I am planning to shoot. I would like to add a beaver tail grip safety, FO front sight, and possibly checkering.
  6. Quack

    Quack it's mmm, mmm good... Staff Member Admin

    Aug 15, 2011
    its all listed in the link I posted.
  7. MoFormula

    MoFormula Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 22, 2011
    Hmmmm .... helps when you turn the page. Thx.
  8. polizei1

    polizei1 It WAS Quack

    Aug 18, 2011
    I just started shooting USPSA in SSD earlier this summer. You need to read the rulebook to help understand what kind of gear, etc. you are permitted to use, and what is prohibited. I reload, and it saves a LOT of money, plus you get to fine-tune your rounds for the specific gun, and control the recoil via how much powder you use. I would highly recommend getting into reloading if you're going to start competing, however I would start shooting first. You need to know if this is something you want to invest in, because I just started and already have ~$300 in gear, not including range fees, ammo, etc.

    You should also be aware that it's quite an expensive hobby. My local range charges $15 per match, add that to the gear cost, ammo cost, etc. and it adds up quick. That said, it's EXTREMELY fun shooting USPSA. I shot my first match and was instantly hooked! I would suggest NOT buying expensive gear until you have a few matches down and you can determine that you want to invest in the sport.

    Gear: If you decide to get into the sport, gear is paramount. While it doesn't really make you better, having some good gear will certainly help by making your life MUCH easier. What I use is a Blade-Tech Sting Ray holster, CR Speed belt and CR Speed mag pouches (you'll need spacers for single stack). If you look around, this is a very popular setup for SSD and Production. A lot of people use this setup. Also, keep in mind that stages will vary in length, the minimum magazines I would have is 5, but I would suggest 6-7. You'll also want to invest in a mag loader if you haven't already, best money I've spent so far! (Spacers)

    Here's my setup: (Since then I've added two more pouches)



    Hands down, the BEST thing you can do is what the others said, you need to announce yourself as a new shooter (to USPSA). I got in contact with the match director and I showed up a day before my first match to help setup the stages. They explained the rules to me (DQ is VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW), how the stages are ran, scored, etc. which helped tremendously. Also, since I helped set the stages up, I had a good idea of how I should run the stages prior to showing up. I would suggest doing this so you're not going in there blind. Keep in mind that you may have to shoot first, so knowing the stage layout would really be beneficial. However, if you tell them you are new, they will make sure you don't run any of the stages first, so again...announcing yourself is key. Your experience may differ (I hope it doesn't), but everyone at my local matches have been extremely helpful and understanding to new shooters. We have new people all of the time, and they always have fun.

    Per the USPSA rules, your first match is free. After that, you have to pay to shoot, the price will vary depending on your local club. You do NOT need USPSA membership to shoot level 1 (local) matches, however to shoot level 2 (Regionals) or level 3, you will be required to have USPSA membership. Cost is $25/year and you will get a number, which will rank you. You will be unclassified until you have several matches down. After that, you'll be ranked and compete against people who are of your skill. This is something you can look into after you start shooting a few matches. For me, I want to shoot a level 2 match and also I like being ranked.

    I noticed you said your son and you will be shooting. This is great, but also brings up some concern. I'm going to assume you would want to shoot the same gun? If you have different guns to shoot, then ignore this.

    However, if you plan on shooting the same gun, you might want to talk to your match director and see if he will allow you two to switch guns on the firing line. I HIGHLY doubt they will, so for all intent and purposes, you will need two guns, and two sets of gear. You COULD just take off the gear and switch it, but I'm going to also assume you two are different sizes. If so, how the belt is positioned and where the mag pouches, holster, etc. are on the belt are extremely individual. You could adjust, and get by with using all of the same gear, but I would really recommend having two individual setups.

    Last, and most important, sign up on BE forum. Read all about USPSA on there. The forum has a TON of information.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  9. 50GI-Jess

    50GI-Jess Member

    Aug 24, 2011
    In case you like steel matches too. I shoot this one every year in IA. Really a demanding and fun match with cash pay back.
  10. polizei1

    polizei1 It WAS Quack

    Aug 18, 2011
    I have shot steel matches, but I don't care for them. I did however, forget to add that in, so thank you!
  11. MoFormula

    MoFormula Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 22, 2011
    Thanks, you are a wealth of information. We are a rural area so the organizers at the match we attended really took us under their wing. They were very enthusiastic about my son being there. It was that warm reception that encouraged us to move further. We are moving slowly into the equipment and trying to understand what works. I appreciate you showing me your setup. My son and I will shoot our own setups. I plan on using a 45 and he will use a 9mm. You have a great idea about showing up early to help setup. I will certainly do that. I will also join the BE forums. Thanks for your hands on perspective. MoFormula
  12. polizei1

    polizei1 It WAS Quack

    Aug 18, 2011
    No problem, glad I could help! Like I said, I just started this past summer, so I had to go through everything as well. Let me know if you have any other questions, I'm happy to help.

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